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John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed: Who Will Speak For Islam?

The following article appears in the 25th anniversary issue of World Policy Journal.

Richard Horowitz: Pan Am 103, Revisited

Richard HorowitzJuval Aviv, an Israeli-born New York private investigator, gave a presentation on August 8 at the annual American Bar Association (ABA) convention held in New York. Aviv is president of Interfor, Inc., which describes itself as an “international investigations firm offering comprehensive domestic and foreign intelligence services to the legal, corporate, and financial communities” with offices in thirty-six countries. Aviv has created a mystique about himself by claiming to be the “Avner” character in Steven Spielberg’s Munich, hand-picked by former Prime Minister Golda Meir to lead a team of Israeli assassins to avenge the deaths of the 11 Israeli athletes killed by Black September during the 1972 Munich Olympics. As Aviv told the ABA audience, “Steven Spielberg bought the rights to my life story and Munich is based on that.” Last week, however, Aviv was removed as the keynote speaker at a security conference scheduled for October after I and another security professional brought our concerns about Aviv to the conference director. Aviv gained notoriety when Pan Am hired him to investigate the downing of Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. His investigative conclusion: the Central Intelligence Agency was responsible for the explosion on board the flight. According to his report, the CIA had allowed Syrian drug dealers to ship narcotics to the United States via U.S. aircraft in exchange for intelligence. Someone, however, slipped a bomb into the shipment aboard Pan Am 103, bringing down the plane. While this defense did not help Pan Am in court, Aviv’s report, commonly referred to as the “Interfor Report,” merited a chapter in The 80 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time by Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen (Citadel Press, 2004) and can be found on websites and discussion boards across the Internet. (See number 9 in Another Ten Conspiracy Theories, right after the famous Beatles rumor “Paul is Dead.”)

Alon Ben-Meir: Israeli-Syrian Negotiations

Dr. Alon Ben-MeirBy all accounts, the Israeli-Syrian indirect negotiations through Turkish mediation are going well, and the fact that a fourth round of talks is scheduled for the end of July suggests that both sides expect to make further progress. The reports from Damascus and Ankara, however, indicating that Syria will not enter into direct negotiations with Israel before the advent of new American administration show an obstructive apprehension on the part of the Syrian government. Indeed, Damascus should not only agree to direct negotiations with Israel—as Turkish officials strongly recommend—but time has come for it to make a bold move toward the Israelis. A high level meeting, for example, between Israel and Syria can change overnight the dynamic of their negotiations and dramatically increase the Bush administration's stakes in its successful outcome.



Around WPI

Jihad in Sub-Saharan Africa 

This paper, “Jihad in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenging the Narratives of the War on Terror,” examines the history of Islamic movements in Africa's Sahel region to contextualize current conflicts.

World Economic Roundtable with Vicente Fox 

In this World Economic Roundtable, former Mexican President Vicente Fox discusses his current quest to make his country a hub for technology. 

Intern at World Policy

Want to join our team? Looking for an experience at one of the most highly sought-after internships for ambitious students? Application details here.


Al Gore presides over Arctic Roundtable 

As the United States prepares to assume chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015, this inaugural convening of the Arctic Deeply Roundtables launches a vital conversation for our times. 


When the Senate Worked for Us:
New book offers untold stories of how activist staffers countered corporate lobbies in the U.S.

MA in International Policy and Development
Middlebury Institute (Monterey, CA): Put theory into practice through client-based coursework. Apply by Feb. 1.

Millennium Project’s State of the Future 19.0: Collective Intelligence on the Future of the World


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